Archive for the ‘House Party’ Category

Filo Cup – Good Looking Party’s MUST Item

November 12, 2007

You know I throw parties quite often. I love preparing all the food from scratch, but sometimes I don’t have time to spend all day in the kitchen. I still like to make it look like I spent hours over the stove, and this is the best way to make “over the top” looking, yet very easy to prepare party food.

Use filo cups and fill it with whatever you want, cold, hot, sweet, or spicy, it is such a cute and crunchy cup that anything you put in tastes good, and the best part is, it’s so easy and no dishes to clean!

I hosted a pre-dinner party last weekend. Well, of course people showed up late and the party dragged till late into the night, but below are what I made.

Smorgas Chef’s Swedish meatball cup. I love Swedish meatballs, and instead of making my own, I ordered from Smorgas, cut them in half, topped it with mashed potato and the lingonberry that came with it. This was definitely a popular item. It was basically a meal in a cup.

How cute is this?

This is salmon avocado tartar. I chopped up salmon sashimi, mixed with tobiko and avocado, then add salt, pepper and sesame oil and a bit of Asian flavored dressing. Yum!

Salmon and avocado, the best combination!

People get intimidated about throwing a party, but you don’t need to do things I do (like cooking for 10 hours). With lots of booze and lots of mini things such as above, your parties will be remembered. 15 cups for $2.49 isn’t bad either.

Temaki Maki Maki

August 28, 2007

Temaki (hand-rolled sushi) is an easy way to entertain a crowd. There aren’t much prep work involved, but the spread is quite luxurious looking and it’s surely a crowd pleaser.

You just make whatever you like to be inside, spread it nicely and voila, party starts.

Instead of going to Japanese grocery store, and buy overpriced sashimi quality fish (which is a total bullshit, you can buy the same quality fish a LOT cheaper at a good fish mongers), I just went to Lobster House in Chelsea Market. Their salmon is always fresh, and I learned from an avid fish eater that you should semi-freeze salmon before you eat it, and that will kill all the bacteria. So I froze it for about an hour, and it’s easier to cut, and all the bad guys are dead, easy process.

Despite last week’s trauma on the mandoline, I grated cucumbers on it. Although my heart was pumping a bit, remembering the horrific incident, I made sure to use the guard. Guard is great, but you can only grate half of the vegetables. Still, it’s better to be guarded than losing a part of your finger right?

Aside from obvious ones you can see (salmon, shrimp, avocado), I made seared tuna belly marinated in ponzu sauce. It was only $9.99 at the market, so I bought it. I know their fish is fresh enough, but thought it wasn’t fresh enough to just cut it up, so I seared for like a minute on each side, then sliced them up, and put it in ponzu sauce. Citrus in ponzu will cook the meat so there shouldn’t be any worry.

Shrimp is also another easy one. I cleaned it, stuck it on a skewer (to keep it from curling up), boil for a couple of minutes, and fillet it in half (inside out, so that it looks like shrimp on sushi).

I am not so much into fishy fish (hikari mono, or shiny kinds), and I don’t like fish eggs (yes I am very picky and cheap at sushi place since I don’t like ikura, uni, and other all kinds of expensive stuff). But I love tamago. I have a tamago-yaki pan, so I mixed eggs, sugar, salt, soy sauce, and dashi, made tamago-yaki and cut them up. Yum!

Sushi and sake should always be accompanied. Sake really clears pallet from fish. This time, instead of buying a big bottle, I bought three small bottles and had a little sake tasting. I like Kurosawa, which is clear, refreshing, and cheap. I was very disappointed at Tukasabotan, which was almost tasteless. Something notable in sake world recently is that many brewers have started to make bubbly sake. Before I tried it, I was a bit skeptical about it, but it is good. If you don’t like sweet stuff, you wouldn’t like it, though. I bought Harushika Tokimeki. It’s sad how overpriced sakes are in this country. It is 493 yen in Japan for the half bottle, becomes $13.99 at booze shop in New York, and $45 at Megu. At Megu, they put freshly grated wasabi into this stuff, and actually taste nice. Anyhow, sake and sushi, very healthy and tasty dinner we had.

Welcome to Brooklyn Party!

August 13, 2007

As a welcome gesture, my dear newly-wed friends Vanessa and Payman decided to throw me a “Welcome to Brooklyn” Party. Let me tell you- these 2 really know how to entertain! (And they got a chance to try out all those wedding gifts). They had quite a spread prepared- all Brooklyn inspired fare. Our friend went out around 9pm to pick up a couple pies at Di Fara’s, and they were so busy that the poor thing didn’t return until 3 hours later….but she had with her the MOST amazing pizza. This stuff put Grimaldi’s to shame!

Payman had a full service bar going. Drink specials were posted on the board and my favorite was the “Brooklyn Cocktail” – a mix of Old Forrester, Dry Vermouth, Maraschino and Angostura.

But that was just the beginning….after several Nathan’s hotdogs, a Brooklyn Lager or 2, and lots of dipping in the chocolate fountain, I was officially sworn in as a Brooklyn-ite. Thanks, Vanessa & Payman! I look forward to more eating and drinking together in my new borough.

A Persian New Year Straight Outta Brooklyn

March 21, 2007

Today the sun has crossed the equator and we in the Earth’s northern hemisphere are treated to the introduction of the Spring season. With each spring season comes a celebration dating back nearly 3,000 years. The traditions of this celebration, Nouroz, has changed very little. It is still a time to gather and celebrate with friends and family. It is also a time for indulging in one of life’s greatest pleasures…FOOD!

In modern Iran, the traditional Nouroz meal consists primarily of two dishes Sabzi Polo Mahi and Kookoo Sabzi (link to a fine recipe).

Since I was unable to celebrate with my family in California I decided to invite what family I have in NYC to a homemade feast, courtesy of yours truly, in Brooklyn.

Sabzi Polo Mahi consists of rice with green herbs served with fish. The traditional seasoning for Sabzi Polo are parsley, coriander, chives, dill and fenugreek. Below you can see the Sabzi Polo and Mahi presented in separate dishes.

Kookoo Sabzi is an herbs and vegetable souffle. A light and fluffy omelet style made from parsley, dill, coriander, spinach, spring onion ends, and chives, mixed with eggs and walnut. Lemon wedges help to enhance both the flavor and presentation of any Kookoo Sabzi.

Together Sabzi Polo Mahi and Kookoo Sabzi make for a fantastic meal on any given occassion. To add more flavor to your plate try adding a delicious salad. I was lucky enough to have my sweet girl friend prepare an amazing salad made from avocado, spinach, pine nuts, and rasberries. The salad dressing was made from soy sauce, honey, and mustard.

At the height of my glory during the night I embraced my accomplishments with a smile, hungry stomach, and handsome portions for all my guests.

After a meal like this you’ll need something to sweeten your stomach. Might I suggest some baghlava and shirini nokhodchi (clover shaped, chickpea cookies).

Aydetoon Mobārak!
-Sepehr Hejazi Moghadam